Monday, March 9, 2015

Brake Repair Basics

CarLife Brake Repair Basics Blog | Auto Repair Services in Scottsdale, Gilbert, Glendale, AZ.


Some common brake related issue that you should be aware of.

Are you wondering if you might be having trouble with your brakes?

Brake Repairs should never be taken lightly. You and your family's safety depend on properly functioning brakes. CarLife Auto Repair wants to help you to keep vigilant and be aware of your vehicle's needs - especially brake related issues - at all times.

Read the following tips & advice on automotive Brake Systems Basics. It will help to educate you on common car brake issues that you should be able to identify.

There are some simple areas to become educated in and to keep an eye on when it involves your car brakes:
  1. Brake Noises
  2. Brake Fluid Issues
  3. Brake Pulling & Pulsating


There are two common noises that you may hear when your car brakes are in need of attention, and they are a high-pitch-squeal and/or grinding noises. Many cars have brake wear sensors on them which are designed to make noises when the brake pads are low. It is a safety measure provided to give you advanced warning of a potential brake problem or brake replacement needed.


In a properly functioning brake system, when your brake pads are low, you will hear a high pitch squeal when you are driving - and when your foot is NOT on the brake pedal. This is your brake wear indicator. It tells you that your brake pads are low and in need of attention. If you continue to drive with this noise and ignore it, the next noise you hear may be grinding as you apply pressure to your brakes.

Grinding Noises

Grinding noises occur when your brake pad lining is worn down completely to the metal part of the pad causing metal to metal grinding of your brake rotor. You will hear this noise as you apply pressure to your brake pedal. It is a more serious noise - which needs attention!

It's important not to take chances with brake noises! If your brake pads are so thin that they are screeching, they will soon fail - causing safety hazards. And if they need only lubrication and you neglect it, they will wear sooner and cost you more money in unnecessary repairs. So, get your brakes inspected at the first sign of noises by a skilled auto repair technician - only a proper brake inspection can determine the cause of the noise.


Like most systems in your vehicle, there is a fluid responsible for much of the work in the car braking system. This fluid can get dirty and can sometimes get low.

Low Brake Fluid

When there is a loss of brake fluid, the brakes become “soft” and you lose ability to brake efficiently over time. Brake fluid is NOT something that gets consumed, so if the indicator light is on and/or it's reading significantly below the "add" mark, then you probably have a leak. If this is the case, get it checked immediately - as the brakes are at risk of failure.

Dirty Fluid

Brake fluid should be clear! Dark fluid indicates significant contamination in the fluid. Dirt might have gotten into the brake fluid during the course of your driving. Contaminate brake fluid (even the smallest amount of dirt) can cause the internal seals of the master brake cylinder to fail - so be sure to check your brake fluid and call your auto repair shop if it's NOT clear.

You can check the brake fluid yourself. If it is dirty or discolored, consider getting your brakes flushed or bled. If Brake Fluid is low, get in immediately for a full inspection of your braking system, as you are at risk of brake failure!


There could be several reasons for your vehicle to pull to the right or to the left. You may need a alignment, your tires may be unevenly worn or your brakes could be the issue. The same goes with pulsations felt in your vehicle. So it is always a good idea to have a mechanic diagnosis and confirm the underlying problem. Common brake related pulling & pulsations symptoms to educate yourself in are as follows.


Pulsation is more common than pulling. It occurs in your brake system when the vehicle's rotors are warped. It can occur in your front brakes and in your back brakes.
  • Front brake pulsation is often felt in the steering wheel when you apply the brakes (mostly at highway speeds). You will feel the steering wheel shimmy or vibrate.
  • Back brake pulsation is more difficult to determine but is commonly felt in the seat of the vehicle (as opposed to the steering-wheel while driving).


Pulling is less common. If you find that when you brake, your vehicle pulls to one side or the other, your brake system could be involved. However, it could be your suspension, steering or alignment. So a proper & thorough brake inspection by a skilled automotive technician is warranted.

Keep you and your family safe on the roads by keeping vigilant and educating yourself about your automotive braking system in your vehicle. At the first sign of any issues, get your brakes inspected by a professional repair shop. At CarLife Auto Repair, we have skilled brake repair specialists and are here to help you stay safe. Click the following link for your Free Brake Inspection and come in today! 1 Offer isValid at all 3 locations: Scottsdale, Glendale & Gilbert/Mesa.


At CarLife Auto Repair, we take your safety seriously and are happy to help keep you safe on the roads. We value and appreciate our customers & community. If you are concerned about your bakes, we will gladly give you a FREE BRAKE INSPECTION. Come in today for a comprehensive inspection of your entire braking system. All you have to do is print out our coupon and schedule your appointment in advance. Please notify us before coming in so we can accommodate you appropriately. See our website for Coupon & Details.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

How to Prepare Your Car for the Summer Heat in Phoenix, Arizona!

Summertime Car Maintenance Tips 

It's Summer-Time in Phoenix! And that means excessive heat, vacation trips, stop & go traffic, increased dust storms, and the flooding monsoons. And it all takes a toll on your vehicle.          
Summertime Preparation & Maintenance is a Must!
We have so much fun here in Arizona in the summer, but proper vehicle preparation is a must! So don't get your summertime fun spoiled by forgetting to address a few simple car maintenance areas. Periodic maintenance can lessen the odds of automotive mechanical failure, can save you money by avoiding unnecessary repairs; and it will help to keep you SAFE on the roads this summer.

Learn how to properly prepare your car for the Summer Heat.

Read the following Tips & Advice:

Air Conditioning: 

Number one on the list for summer is Auto Air Conditioning. Get your A/C checked at your local repair shop before it gets hot!!!

Inspection fees are usually very affordable, and it is well worth it.

Keep your A/C blowing cold.

Better to avoid a failure and save money, rather then sweat it out in the middle of the summer heat and wind up paying more for an avoidable repair. And... be sure to replace your cabin air filter at this time as well. The AZ dust is abundant and we see cabin air-filters quickly clogging up.


Batteries can fail at any time of the year, but here in AZ, they fail often and before the usual time expectancy.

The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment.

More on Car Battery Basics
So have your battery checked every time you take your car in for an oil change or other routine maintenance. The service is often FREE and the extra step will ensure peace of mind. The heat is the number one factor that wears car batteries out here in the desert. And while there are many other combining factors that create a quicker then usual failure, just living in Phoenix alone can do this.


Don't delay with brakes!!! See your owner's manual and follow the recommended inspection intervals - get them inspected especially if you will be traveling.

You never at any time want a brake failure to occur. So don't delay when it comes to brakes.

If you are experiencing pulsation, noises, grabbing or longer stopping distances when braking, then get into see your mechanic ASAP. Minor brake problems need to be resolved quickly, and they should take little time to perform.

Cooling System

Overheating is one of the most common breakdowns that occur in the Summer; and living in the desert just makes it far worse.

Be sure to have your cooling system completely flushed & refilled approximately every 2 years.

Have regular check ups performed as well during this time to check the level and condition of the coolant. Your mechanic will also inspect the condition of the drive belts, clamps and hoses. If your vehicle does overheat, DO NOT remove the radiator cap until it is completely cooled off (or better yet, just don't do it) - or you risk serious injury from scalding water under pressure.

Engine Performance

We live in very dusty conditions; and with that said, Arizonians must pay attention to all of the filters in their vehicles. 

Did you know that you have an air filter, fuel filter, PCV filter and more?

All of these filters are important for engine performance and clog up quickly in our climate. This can lead to all kinds of engine drive-ability problems like, stalling, rough idling, hard starts and diminished power. Getting on a good maintenance schedule with your vehicle can save money and prevent performance problems.

If you have been neglectful however, engine performance failures can be numerous and you will want to correct them as soon as possible; and then, stick to your recommended scheduled maintenance recommendations to help avoid such issues in the future and to keep your vehicle running in top shape.


Periodically inspect and clean all lights on your vehicle. When we are driving, we depend on the safety lights of other vehicles around us. 

They need to be working properly so we can safely navigate the roadways with one another.

Checking your lights is easy to do, yet is often overlooked because we just can't see our vehicle from the other driver perspective. So have them inspected with your routine maintenance to be confident that all are properly functioning. Additionally, you may want to have your lens polished to remove the dull, opaque build up that occurs from sun damage.


Changing your oil is relatively inexpensive and can save you a lot of money on unneeded car repairs and failures - so do not neglect this maintenance requirement.

It is one of the most important, money saving maintenance habits you can perform for your vehicle.

  • First of all, if you change your oil regularly, you will improve the performance and fuel efficiency of your vehicle. 

  • Secondly, you will keep the engine properly lubricated and running safely. Unchanged oil becomes thick, breaks down and is no longer able to prevent the metal on metal friction that will ultimately occur and cause damage to vital engine components. 
The recommended interval is ~ every 3 months or 3000 miles for non-synthetic oil and ~ every 4 months or 4,000 miles for synthetic blends. During this time, be sure to replace your oil filter and get the recommended type of oil specific for your vehicle with each oil change.


Safety! Safety! Safety! Need I say more? 
You have precious cargo on board (you & your children) and you need to be in control of your vehicle.

Being aware of tire balance, pressure, and condition is vital to your safety and the safe operation of your vehicle. 

Unbalanced tires will cause an unnecessary burden on your vehicle creating vibration, tire wear & tear and decreased fuel economy.

What you need to know:
Generally, vibration from unbalanced tires occurs throughout the vehicle's chassis and is often felt in the steering wheel. The more the tires are unbalanced, the more severe the vibration. The drive can be unpleasant, but worse yet it can be dangerous and often times it is very difficult to maintain control of the vehicle.

Your tires will also wear out quickly, and wear can occur on parts of the tire that are not meant to take such burdens of road contact. All of this puts your tires at risk of going flat or falling apart while driving. Additionally, unbalance tires will increase your fuel consumption and the more unbalanced they are, the more your fuel costs will be.

Wheel alignment is also important. If your vehicle is pulling to one side and your tires have uneven tread, then you are in need of an alignment. So be sure to have your tires examined by a professional and rotated approximately every 5,000 miles. And you can check your tire pressure yourself approximately every month. Remember, properly inflated tires reduces fuel consumption - as well.

Windshield Wipers

We really don't use these often, do we? But they sure do wear out fast because the dry Phoenix heat just deteriorates them. 

Inspect your windshield wipers annually.

Windshield wipers in Phoenix wear-out fast. And then, when you need them the most and when you least expect it, they fail and fall apart during our first rains of the monsoon - creating very dangerous driving conditions.So be safe and check them every year, and don't get caught off guard in the next unexpected-storm.

Never overlook the fact that an emergency can occur - especially if you will be traveling. Make it a must have and pack and emergency kit with tools and basic survival items. We just can't chance it when we live in such a harsh climate. Ask your automotive professional for some recommended tools like flares, and a flashlight, but also be sure to a include a first aid kit & drinking water. Don't delay in doing this. It is easy to grab these items, and they could save your life. See this link from AAA for more items to have on hand.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Why Change Your Automotive Engine Oil?

Engine oil is very important to the health and life of your vehicle.

Just like the blood in your body and water in the desert, engine oil is VITAL. And without either of these, someone or something is going to die!

Engine Oil is an essential lubricant in your engine. It allows metal to press against metal without causing damage. For example, it lubricates pistons as they move up & down in the cylinders of your engine.
Without oil, the metal-on-metal friction creates so much heat that eventually the surfaces weld themselves together and the engine seizes.

But what happens if you never change your engine oil?

Two things will definitely happen:
  1. Very Dirty Oil! Dirt will accumulate in the oil. Yes, your oil filter can remove the dirt for a little while, but eventually the filter will clog and the dirty oil will automatically bypass the filter through a relief valve. Once oil gets dirty, it is thick and abrasive, so it causes more wear.
  2. Poor Lubrication! The additives in the oil like detergents, dispersants, rust-fighters and friction reducers will wear out. When this happens, the oil won't lubricate as well as it needs to.
Left unaddressed, the oil will continue to get dirtier & dirtier and lubrication will stop. In this state, the engine will quickly wear out and fail.

Neglected oil decreases the efficiency, performance and life expectancy of your engine. Your car engine will have to work harder under unnecessary stressful conditions, and it will burn up more gas while doing so. Then, the stressful environment leads to wear and tear and eventually damages vital engine components. And before you know it, you are spending thousands of dollars on car repairs that could have been avoided. So changing you oil is very important.

Keep good car care & maintenance habits, and CHANGE YOUR OIL & service your car regularly. It will increase performance, extend the life of your vehicle, save you money on gas and save you money from unnecessary repairs.

So be sure to change your oil regularly!

Carlife Automotive Repair Specials

See our website to get the  coupon  and discount for our Special
limited time - see website for details

Reg. Cost is $34.99
We would love to earn your business.
And getting a cheap oil change is a great way to see how we measure up as an auto repair shop. Please stop by Carlife Auto Repair in Scottsdale, Glendale or Gilbert/Mesa for our OIL CHANGE SPECIAL and check us out!

How is that for testing out the waters. It is our intention to provide you with the most outstanding repairs, service & customer service to be found. We are honest automotive repair professionals and your complete satisfaction is most important.           602-850-8300